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Research in Cloud Security and Privacy

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1 Research in Cloud Security and Privacy
Modified from Bharat Bhargava, Anya Kim, YounSun Cho

2 Outline Part I: Introduction
Part II: Security and Privacy Issues in Cloud Computing Part III: Possible Solutions

3 Part I. Introduction Cloud Computing Background Cloud Models
Why do you still hesitate to use cloud computing? Causes of Problems Associated with Cloud Computing Taxonomy of Fear Threat Model

4 Cloud Computing Background
Features Use of internet-based services to support business process Rent IT-services on a utility-like basis Attributes Rapid deployment Low startup costs/ capital investments Costs based on usage or subscription Multi-tenant sharing of services/ resources Essential characteristics On demand self-service Ubiquitous network access Location independent resource pooling Rapid elasticity Measured service “Cloud computing is a compilation of existing techniques and technologies, packaged within a new infrastructure paradigm that offers improved scalability, elasticity, business agility, faster startup time, reduced management costs, and just-in-time availability of resources” Government and Military sectors: complicated procurement rules and stringent security requirements Cloud-based categories: Cloud-based applications (SAAS) Cloud-based development (e.g. Google App Engine) Cloud-based infrastructure (e.g. Amazon’s EC2) From [1] NIST 4

5 A Massive Concentration of Resources
Also a massive concentration of risk expected loss from a single breach can be significantly larger concentration of “users” represents a concentration of threats “Ultimately, you can outsource responsibility but you can’t outsource accountability.” From [2] John McDermott, ACSAC 09

6 Cloud Computing: who should use it?
Cloud computing definitely makes sense if your own security is weak, missing features, or below average. Ultimately, if the cloud provider’s security people are “better” than yours (and leveraged at least as efficiently), the web-services interfaces don’t introduce too many new vulnerabilities, and the cloud provider aims at least as high as you do, at security goals, then cloud computing has better security. From [2] John McDermott, ACSAC 09

7 Cloud Models Delivery Models Deployment Models
SaaS PaaS IaaS Deployment Models Private cloud Community cloud Public cloud Hybrid cloud Management Models (trust and tenancy issues) Self-managed 3rd party managed (e.g. public clouds and VPC) Trust and tenancy issues as well as loss of control related to the management model From [1] NIST

8 Impact of cloud computing on the governance structure of IT organizations
From [6] Cloud Security and Privacy by Mather and Kumaraswamy

9 If cloud computing is so great, why isn’t everyone doing it?
The cloud acts as a big black box, nothing inside the cloud is visible to the clients Clients have no idea or control over what happens inside a cloud Even if the cloud provider is honest, it can have malicious system admins who can tamper with the VMs and violate confidentiality and integrity Clouds are still subject to traditional data confidentiality, integrity, availability, and privacy issues, plus some additional attacks

10 Causes of Problems Associated with Cloud Computing
Most security problems stem from: Loss of control Lack of trust (mechanisms) Multi-tenancy These problems exist mainly in 3rd party management models Self-managed clouds still have security issues, but not related to above Data mobility: the ability to share data between cloud services Where does data reside? - out-of-state, out-of-country issues Security Concerns for government in particular FISMA How to certify and accredit cloud computing providers under FISMA (e.g. ISO 27001) 10

11 Loss of Control in the Cloud
Consumer’s loss of control Data, applications, resources are located with provider User identity management is handled by the cloud User access control rules, security policies and enforcement are managed by the cloud provider Consumer relies on provider to ensure Data security and privacy Resource availability Monitoring and repairing of services/resources

12 Lack of Trust in the Cloud
Trusting a third party requires taking risks Defining trust and risk Opposite sides of the same coin (J. Camp) People only trust when it pays (Economist’s view) Need for trust arises only in risky situations Defunct third party management schemes Hard to balance trust and risk e.g. Key Escrow (Clipper chip) Is the cloud headed toward the same path? Chiles and McMakin (1996) define trust as increasing one’s vulnerability to the risk of opportunistic behavior of another whose behavior is not under one’s control in a situation in which the costs of violating the trust are greater than the benefits of upholding the trust. Trust here means mostly lack of accountability and verifiability

13 Multi-tenancy Issues in the Cloud
Conflict between tenants’ opposing goals Tenants share a pool of resources and have opposing goals How does multi-tenancy deal with conflict of interest? Can tenants get along together and ‘play nicely’ ? If they can’t, can we isolate them? How to provide separation between tenants? Cloud Computing brings new threats Multiple independent users share the same physical infrastructure Thus an attacker can legitimately be in the same physical machine as the target Who are my neighbors? What is their objective? They present another facet of risk and trust requirements

14 Taxonomy of Fear Confidentiality Fear of loss of control over data
Will the sensitive data stored on a cloud remain confidential? Will cloud compromises leak confidential client data Will the cloud provider itself be honest and won’t peek into the data? Integrity How do I know that the cloud provider is doing the computations correctly? How do I ensure that the cloud provider really stored my data without tampering with it? From [5]

15 Taxonomy of Fear (cont.)
Availability Will critical systems go down at the client, if the provider is attacked in a Denial of Service attack? What happens if cloud provider goes out of business? Would cloud scale well-enough? Often-voiced concern Although cloud providers argue their downtime compares well with cloud user’s own data centers From [5]

16 Taxonomy of Fear (cont.)
Privacy issues raised via massive data mining Cloud now stores data from a lot of clients, and can run data mining algorithms to get large amounts of information on clients Increased attack surface Entity outside the organization now stores and computes data, and so Attackers can now target the communication link between cloud provider and client Cloud provider employees can be phished From [5]

17 Taxonomy of Fear (cont.)
Auditability and forensics (out of control of data) Difficult to audit data held outside organization in a cloud Forensics also made difficult since now clients don’t maintain data locally Legal dilemma and transitive trust issues Who is responsible for complying with regulations? e.g., SOX, HIPAA, GLBA ? If cloud provider subcontracts to third party clouds, will the data still be secure? From [5]

18 Taxonomy of Fear (cont.)
Cloud Computing is a security nightmare and it can't be handled in traditional ways. John Chambers CISCO CEO Security is one of the most difficult task to implement in cloud computing. Different forms of attacks in the application side and in the hardware components Attacks with catastrophic effects only needs one security flaw (http://www.exforsys.com/tutorials/cloud-computing/cloud-computing-security.html)

19 Threat Model A threat model helps in analyzing a security problem, design mitigation strategies, and evaluate solutions Steps: Identify attackers, assets, threats and other components Rank the threats Choose mitigation strategies Build solutions based on the strategies From [5]

20 Threat Model Basic components Attacker modeling Attacker goals
Choose what attacker to consider insider vs. outsider? single vs. collaborator? Attacker motivation and capabilities Attacker goals Vulnerabilities / threats From [5]

21 What is the issue? The core issue here is the levels of trust
Many cloud computing providers trust their customers Each customer is physically commingling its data with data from anybody else using the cloud while logically and virtually you have your own space The way that the cloud provider implements security is typically focused on they fact that those outside of their cloud are evil, and those inside are good. But what if those inside are also evil? From [5]

22 Attacker Capability: Malicious Insiders
At client Learn passwords/authentication information Gain control of the VMs At cloud provider Log client communication Can read unencrypted data Can possibly peek into VMs, or make copies of VMs Can monitor network communication, application patterns Why? Gain information about client data Gain information on client behavior Sell the information or use itself From [5]

23 Attacker Capability: Outside attacker
What? Listen to network traffic (passive) Insert malicious traffic (active) Probe cloud structure (active) Launch DoS Goal? Intrusion Network analysis Man in the middle Cartography From [5]

24 Challenges for the attacker
How to find out where the target is located? How to be co-located with the target in the same (physical) machine? How to gather information about the target? From [5]

25 Part II: Security and Privacy Issues in Cloud Computing - Big Picture
From [6] Cloud Security and Privacy by Mather and Kumaraswamy

26 Data Security and Storage
Several aspects of data security, including: Data-in-transit Confidentiality + integrity using secured protocol Confidentiality with non-secured protocol and encryption Data-at-rest Generally, not encrypted , since data is commingled with other users’ data Encryption if it is not associated with applications? But how about indexing and searching? Processing of data, including multitenancy For any application to process data From [6] Cloud Security and Privacy by Mather and Kumaraswamy

27 Data Security and Storage (cont.)
Data lineage Knowing when and where the data was located w/i cloud is important for audit/compliance purposes e.g., Amazon AWS Store <d1, t1, ex1.s3.amazonaws.com> Process <d2, t2, ec2.compute2.amazonaws.com> Restore <d3, t3, ex2.s3.amazonaws.com> Data provenance Computational accuracy (as well as data integrity) E.g., financial calculation: sum ((((2*3)*4)/6) -2) = $2.00 ? How about dollars of different countries? Correct exchange rate? Data remanence Inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information is possible From [6] Cloud Security and Privacy by Mather and Kumaraswamy

28 What is Privacy? The concept of privacy varies widely among (and sometimes within) countries, cultures, and jurisdictions. It is shaped by public expectations and legal interpretations; as such, a concise definition is elusive if not impossible. Privacy rights or obligations are related to the collection, use, disclosure, storage, and destruction of personal data At the end of the day, privacy is about the accountability of organizations to data subjects, as well as the transparency to an organization’s practice around personal information. From [6] Cloud Security and Privacy by Mather and Kumaraswamy

29 What Are the Key Privacy Concerns?
Typically mix security and privacy Some considerations to be aware of: Storage Retention Destruction Auditing, monitoring and risk management Privacy breaches Who is responsible for protecting privacy? From [6] Cloud Security and Privacy by Mather and Kumaraswamy

30 Part III. Possible Solutions

31 Security Issues in the Cloud
In theory, minimizing any of the issues would help: Third Party Cloud Computing Loss of Control Take back control Data and apps may still need to be on the cloud But can they be managed in some way by the consumer? Lack of trust Increase trust (mechanisms) Technology Policy, regulation Contracts (incentives) Multi-tenancy Private cloud Takes away the reasons to use a cloud in the first place VPC: its still not a separate system Strong separation While VPC providers argue that they provide superior isolation, the fact of the matter is that your data is not a separate physical system: your data is still stored on actual servers along with other consumers’ data, but logically separated. If the actual server fails, your data and applications stored on it are lost. Also, there needs to be a high level of trust as to the degree of isolation provided.

32 Third Party Cloud Computing
Known issues: Already exist Confidentiality issues Malicious behavior by cloud provider Known risks exist in any industry practicing outsourcing Provider and its infrastructure needs to be trusted

33 New Vulnerabilities & Attacks
Threats arise from other consumers Due to the subtleties of how physical resources can be transparently shared between VMs Such attacks are based on placement and extraction A customer VM and its adversary can be assigned to the same physical server Adversary can penetrate the VM and violate customer confidentiality

34 More on attacks… Collaborative attacks Mapping of internal cloud infrastructure Identifying likely residence of a target VM Instantiating new VMs until one gets co-resident with the target Cross-VM side-channel attacks Extract information from target VM on the same machine

35 More on attacks… Can one determine where in the cloud infrastructure an instance is located? Can one easily determine if two instances are co-resident on the same physical machine? Can an adversary launch instances that will be co-resident with other user instances? Can an adversary exploit cross-VM information leakage once co-resident? Answer: Yes to all

36 Minimize Lack of Trust: Policy Language
Consumers have specific security needs but don’t have a say-so in how they are handled Currently consumers cannot dictate their requirements to the provider (SLAs are one-sided) Standard language to convey one’s policies and expectations Agreed upon and upheld by both parties Standard language for representing SLAs Create policy language with the following characteristics: Machine-understandable (or at least processable), Easy to combine/merge and compare These SLAs typically state the high level policies of the provider (e.g. Will maintain uptime of 98%) and do not allow cloud consumers to dictate their requirements to the provider. COI clouds in particular have specific security policy requirements that must be met by the provider, due to the nature of COIs and the missions they are used for. These requirements need to be communicated to the provider and the provider needs to provide some way of stating that the requirements can be met. Cloud consumers and providers need a standard way of representing their security requirements and capabilities. Consumers also need a way to verify that the provided infrastructure and its purported security mechanisms meet the requirements stated in the consumer’s policy (proof of assertions). For example, if the consumer’s policy requires isolation of VMs, the provider can create an assertion statement that says it uses cache separation to support VM isolation.

37 Minimize Lack of Trust: Certification
Some form of reputable, independent, comparable assessment and description of security features and assurance Sarbanes-Oxley, DIACAP, DISTCAP, etc Risk assessment Performed by certified third parties Provides consumers with additional assurance

38 Minimize Loss of Control: Monitoring
Cloud consumer needs situational awareness for critical applications When underlying components fail, what is the effect of the failure to the mission logic What recovery measures can be taken by provider and consumer Requires an application-specific run-time monitoring and management tool for the consumer The cloud consumer and cloud provider have different views of the system Enable both the provider and tenants to monitor the components in the cloud that are under their control When the underlying components fail in the cloud, the effect of the failures to the mission logic needs to be known so that correct recovery measures can be performed. We propose an application-specific run-time monitoring and management tool. With this tool, the application logic can remain on the consumer’s host computer. This allows the consumer to centrally monitor all aspects of the application as well as data flow. Since all outputs from underlying services are sent to the application logic, any data incompatibility between services is not an issue. The capabilities of the run-time monitoring and management tool are as follows: 1) Enable application user to determine the status of the cloud resources that may be used to run the application (across multiple clouds), 2)  Enable application user to determine the real-time security posture and situational awareness of the application, 3) Provide the application user with the ability to move user’s application (or part of it) to another site (other VM in same cloud or different cloud altogether), 4) Provide the application user with the ability to change the application logic on the fly, 5) Provide communicate capabilities with cloud providers. There are a few cloud vendors such as NimSoft [41] and Hyperic [42] that provide application-specific monitoring tools that provide some of the above functionality. These monitoring tools may be further enhanced or used in conjunction with other tools to provide the degree of monitoring required. However, any tool that is to be used for military purposes must also receive some type of accreditation and certification procedure.

39 Minimize Loss of Control: Monitoring (Cont.)
Provide mechanisms that enable the provider to act on attacks he can handle. infrastructure remapping create new or move existing fault domains shutting down offending components or targets and assisting tenants with porting if necessary Repairs Provide mechanisms that enable the consumer to act on attacks that he can handle application-level monitoring RAdAC (Risk-adaptable Access Control) VM porting with remote attestation of target physical host Provide ability to move the user’s application to another cloud

40 Minimize Loss of Control: Utilize Different Clouds
The concept of ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ Consumer may use services from different clouds through an intra-cloud or multi-cloud architecture A multi-cloud or intra-cloud architecture in which consumers Spread the risk Increase redundancy (per-task or per-application) Increase chance of mission completion for critical applications Possible issues to consider: Policy incompatibility (combined, what is the overarching policy?) Data dependency between clouds Differing data semantics across clouds Knowing when to utilize the redundancy feature monitoring technology Is it worth it to spread your sensitive data across multiple clouds? Redundancy could increase risk of exposure Differering data semantics example: does a data item labeled secret in one cloud have the same semantics as another piece of data also labeled secret in a different cloud?

41 Minimize Loss of Control: Access Control
Many possible layers of access control E.g. access to the cloud, access to servers, access to services, access to databases (direct and queries via web services), access to VMs, and access to objects within a VM Depending on the deployment model used, some of these will be controlled by the provider and others by the consumer Regardless of deployment model, provider needs to manage the user authentication and access control procedures (to the cloud) Federated Identity Management: access control management burden still lies with the provider Requires user to place a large amount of trust on the provider in terms of security, management, and maintenance of access control policies. This can be burdensome when numerous users from different organizations with different access control policies, are involved In cloud computing (as well as other systems), there are many possible layers of access control. For example, access to the cloud, access to servers, access to services, access to databases (direct and queries via web services), access to VMs, and access to objects within a VM. Depending on the deployment model used, some of these will be controlled by the provider and others by the consumer. For example, Google Apps, a representative SaaS Cloud controls authentication and access to its applications, but users themselves can control access to their documents through the provided interface to the access control mechanism. In IaaS type approaches, the user can create accounts on its virtual machines and create access control lists for these users for services located on the VM. Regardless of the deployment model, the provider needs to manage the user authentication and access control procedures (to the cloud). While some providers allow federated authentication – enabling the consumer-side to manage its users, the access control management burden still lies with the provider. This requires the user to place a large amount of trust on the provider in terms of security, management, and maintenance of access control policies. This can be burdensome when numerous users from different organizations with different access control policies, are involved. This proposal focuses on access control to the cloud. However, the concepts here could be applied to access control at any level, if deemed necessary. We propose a way for the consumer to manage the access control decision-making process to retain some control, requiring less trust of the provider. Approach: This approach requires the client and provider to have a pre-existing trust relationship, as well as a pre-negotiated standard way of describing resources, users, and access decisions between the cloud provider and consumer. It also needs to be able to guarantee that the provider will uphold the consumer-side’s access decisions. Furthermore, we need to show that this approach is at least as secure as the traditional access control model. This approach requires the data owner to be involved in all requests. Therefore, frequent access scenarios should not use this method if traffic is a concern. However, many secure data outsourcing schemes require the user to grant keys/certificates to the query side, so that every time the user queries a database, the owner needs to be involved. Therefore, not much different than that so may not be a problem.

42 Minimize Loss of Control: Access Control (Cont.)
Consumer-managed access control Consumer retains decision-making process to retain some control, requiring less trust of the provider Requires the client and provider to have a pre-existing trust relationship, as well as a pre-negotiated standard way of describing resources, users, and access decisions between the cloud provider and consumer. It also needs to be able to guarantee that the provider will uphold the consumer-side’s access decisions. Should be at least as secure as the traditional access control model.

43 Minimize Loss of Control: Access Control
Cloud Provider in Domain A Cloud Consumer in Domain B Identity Provider 1. Authn request IDP Policy Enforcement Point (intercepts all resource access requests from all client domains) 3. Resource request (XACML Request) + SAML assertion 2. SAML Assertion 4. Redirect to domain of resource owner 5. Retrieve policy for specified resource . Policy Decision Point for cloud resource on Domain A ACM (XACML policies) resources 7. Send signed and encrypted ticket 6. Determine whether user can access specified resource 7. Create ticket for grant/deny 8. Decrypt and verify signature 9. Retrieve capability from ticket 10. Grant or deny access based on capability Security Assertion Markup Language  eXtensible Access Control Markup Language

44 Minimize Loss of Control: IDM Motivation
User on Amazon Cloud Name Password Billing Address Shipping Address Credit Card Name Billing Address Credit Card Name Password Billing Address Shipping Address Credit Card Name Shipping Address Name Shipping Address

45 Minimize Loss of Control: IDM Identity in the Cloud
User on Amazon Cloud Name Password Billing Address Shipping Address Credit Card Name Billing Address Credit Card Name Password Billing Address Shipping Address Credit Card Name Shipping Address Name Shipping Address

46 Minimize Loss of Control: IDM Issues in Cloud Computing
Cloud introduces several issues to IDM Users have multiple accounts associated with multiple service providers. Present IDMs require a trusted third party and do not work on an untrusted host. Lack of trust Use of Trusted Third Party is not an option Cloud hosts are untrusted Loss of control Collusion between Cloud Services Sharing sensitive identity information between services can lead to undesirable mapping of the identities to the user. IDM in Cloud needs to be user-centric

47 Minimize Multi-tenancy
Can’t really force the provider to accept less tenants Can try to increase isolation between tenants Strong isolation techniques (VPC to some degree) QoS requirements need to be met Policy specification Can try to increase trust in the tenants Who’s the insider, where’s the security boundary? Who can I trust? Use SLAs to enforce trusted behavior

48 Conclusion Cloud computing is sometimes viewed as a reincarnation of the classic mainframe client-server model However, resources are ubiquitous, scalable, highly virtualized Contains all the traditional threats, as well as new ones In developing solutions to cloud computing security issues it may be helpful to identify the problems and approaches in terms of Loss of control Lack of trust Multi-tenancy problems


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